This post is part of the Love People Well series.  The focus of this series is on easily shareable, transportable, and giftable foods.  Its an invitation to spread a little love to our friends and neighbors in a simple and tangible way.

One month ago, we moved.  One month in, it still feels almost as chaotic and unpacked.  Multiple rooms are “works-in-progress” which means several other rooms are stuffed with yet-to-be-unpacked moving boxes.  So. many. moving. boxes.  But, you guys, we are living amidst the chaos and loving it!!

We semi-organized about 25% of the house enough to host Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving in a moderately civilized fashion.  Hello, real plates, silverware, and grown-up food!  So long as no one opens doors to any other room, you might not know about the pile of clothes with no home (dresser didn’t fit up the stairs) or the stacks of still-sealed moving boxes.  So while the inside of our house is still 75% chaos, our neighborhood is amazing!  And, the neighbors have given us such a warm welcome!  We are already finding our neighbor friends on the block, which, I have to say, is the most fun!  So we wanted to show our appreciation this weekend with a little holiday morning treat.  These easy to make Swedish Almond Rings!  I promise, they are easy to make and make a great sweet but not-too-sweet morning treat!

Maybe the almond rings will earn us some goodwill points for the hundreds of times my dogs will bark or when my lawn gets all brown and patchy next summer.   We moved onto a block of perfect lawns/yards/landscaping, and historically speaking, that has not been the situation with my yard.  So if anyone feels like sharing their tips, I certainly wouldn’t complain;)  I’m mostly joking – except, not really.  Our lawn will need some wisdom this summer!

In truth, I made the Artisan Bread in 5 brioche dough for our dinner rolls on Thanksgiving…  If you have ever made it, isn’t it fabulous?  If you haven’t, its THE BEST tasting and most versatile dough ever!  I would make it even if it weren’t super easy to make!!

I meant to halve the recipe, but I forgot.  So I ended up with a MOUNTAIN of dough.   To give you a little perspective, 1/4 of the brioche recipe is enough for one 9×13″ pans of dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls.  I usually even have dough leftover after that.  After making enough dinner rolls for Thanksgiving and leftover-days, I still had about 1/2 of the dough left.  I wrapped it in plastic, stuck it in the fridge, and began to day dream about how to use it.

I admit, making and eating 2 whole pans of pecan sticky buns crossed my mind… But I opted for the less glutinous and more neighborly option.  Make a bunch of swedish almond rings for our new neighbors.  Ok, so we kept one ring for ourselves. (In the name of quality control?)  I stand by my choice, although I make some bomb pecan sticky buns. 😉

So, call it what you like:  An attempt at neighboring, expressing gratitude for the warm welcome, too much dough, or….. stockpiling goodwill points for the future.  Regardless, we made the rounds delivering Swedish Almond Rings.

Lets talk about this almond pastry filling!  It comes together with a food processor in seconds and gives the rolls a not-too-sweet almond filling.  The almond flavor isn’t over the top but gives the rolls a hint of almond flavor.

After seeing and tasting beautiful cream cheese drizzle over and over again, I wondered: What is the key to a smoooooth and drizzle-friendly cream cheese icing? I didn’t want a thick cream cheese FROSTING.  I wanted a drizzle-able icing!  With countless tweaks and experimentation, here is what works best for me:

  • Make sure your cream cheese is warmer than room-temp
  • Add a splash of whole milk to thin it out
  • And sift your powdered sugar!

If you make these Swedish Almond Rings, be sure to post the pictures to Instagram, tag me @almostproperly and be sure to share how you #lovepeoplewell.  I love seeing your photos!

Swedish Almond Rings always help kick off the holidays in our house.  So, I hope they do the same for you and yours!

Swedish Almond Ring

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 8 swedish almond rings

Serving Size: each ring serves about 4

Swedish Almond Ring

    For the dough:
  • 1/2 recipe for brioche dough from Artisan Bread in 5
  • 1 egg white for brushing top of dough prior to baking
  • For the almond filling:
  • 2/3 c. almond paste, crumbled
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • For the cream cheese drizzle:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, warmer than room temperature
  • 1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. sifted powdered sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Follow the directions for the first rise and chilling of the brioche dough. After your dough has thoroughly chilled, it is ready to use.

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Working with one half at a time, roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12x16" rectangle. And cut into four 4x12" strips. Along the long edge, cut 1" wide slits that are about 1" deep into the sides. Use a spoon to spread a strip of the almond filling down the middle 2" of the rectangle. This should be about 2-3 tbsp. of almond filling per strip. Overlap strips from each side to cover the almond filling. Then carefully transfer the rope to a large rimmed baking sheet and form the rope into a ring shape. Repeat with remaining strips of dough and then repeat the process with the second piece of dough. You will probably need 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Lightly cover and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 375. Once assembled rings have risen, lightly brush tops of each ring with egg white. Lightly tent with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove and bake for 20-22 minutes until golden.

While rolls bake, make cream cheese glaze. Make sure cream cheese is warmer than room temperature. (I usually set the cream cheese on top of the stove while the oven preheats.) Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy and fluffy. Then beat in sifted powdered sugar a little at a time. Then add 4 tbsp. milk, almond extract and vanilla extract. Beat to combine. Add 1-2 more tbsp. milk to glaze to a consistency that can be drizzled with a spoon.

Drizzle glaze over rolls. Transfer each ring to a plate and gift or consume immediately. Best when eaten warm or within 2 hours of baking.

Notes:

Total time includes 2 hours for almond rings to rise.

http://www.almostproperly.com/love-people-well-swedish-almond-ring/

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